I caught the bus to Taipei and soon found myself in the apartment of a stranger - Grant, another CouchSurfing connection, and my home for the next few days. I have a feeling some of you (that aren't familiar with CouchSurfing) may think i'm crazy, but do a little research or just listen to the rest of my story, and you'll see it's legit. After spending a few hours talking, getting a locksmith to unlock his bedroom door and enjoying a delicious beer we decided to head to Grant's friends apartment for a rooftop BBQ. On the way we made a stop for more beer and some Guava (not my favorite) but better if you sprinkle the "drugs" on it (I think it was actually plum? powder). I must say the availability, spread and price of the fruit in Taiwan was a definite bonus. That night I met some awesome people, ate some delicious chicken, beef, mango and pepper BBQ and took in the sites and sounds of Taipei. We called it an earlyish night as we were planning to meet another of Grant's friends the next morning at 8:30 for a hike.
|Memorial statue at 2/28 peace park|
|Love the architecture|
|National Concert Hall|
|Memorial hall from the concert hall|
FF to Sunday morning (you can read about the nights and hikes in future posts) I ventured out with Grants second CouchSurfer for the week, Cory. As Grant appeared to be dead to the world we decided to navigate our way towards the Taipei 101 building and Sun Yat-sen memorial hall. The memorial was not quite as impressive as Chiang Kai-shek but this time I was actually able to see the monument inside. I remember hearing mixed opinions on weather or not to pay the admission to the top floor of the 101 building but i'd definitely say it was worth it. We made our way up (on the fastest elevator in the world - 55ft/sec) just as a storm was rolling into town - made some awesome views and pictures. The tower is currently the second tallest in the world at 508m, recently surpassed in 2010 by the Burj Kalifa in Dubai.
|Sun Yat-sen memorial hall|
|View West - Grants apartment is down there somewhere|
|View North, storms coming in|
|Damper which prevents the building from falling over|